Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Greetings to you from Lincoln, Nebraska. That's right, Nebraska. I am not writing this newsletter from Togo or anywhere in Africa, but from here in the United States. For the past couple of months and until the end of January, I am on missionary “home service.” We call this time “home service” rather than “furlough.” Furlough sounds like a vacation - and this time is certainly not vacation. Each missionary with the LCMS-Office of International Mission must come back to the United States every few years or so to reconnect with supporters to give an update of the impact of their gifts and prayers to the work that the missionary does in the field. This is my first home service since I began working as a missionary of the LCMS over 5 years ago. So, I have a lot of visits and presentations to make.

Along the way I am trying to attend conferences and see familiar faces from college and seminary. I had the privilege of attending the Bugenhagen Conference in Racine, Wisconsin at the beginning of August. This conference focused on addressing the challenges that Lutheran pastors face in the parish Ministry. Since I have not been serving in a parish for several years now, it was important to be brought back to reconnect with the joys and challenges of parish Ministry in the mission field of the United States. I also had the opportunity in early August to attend a continuing education course in Council Bluffs, Iowa. This course was titled “The Formula of Concord in the Parish.” It was taught by Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki from the Ft. Wayne seminary. We covered how the Formula of Concord, the final document in the Book of of Concord, clarifies and reiterates the teachings of the other confessional documents of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the relevance of these teachings in the regular practice of the church. Of course it is wonderful to meet with folks and to thank them in person for their prayers and encouragement, but it cannot be ignored that a large part of going on home service is to do fundraising. I am deeply grateful for the repeat and generous gifts I get from individuals, congregations, and districts. I am also thankful for the work of Gary Thies and Rev. Brent Smith and their many volunteers at Mission Central for their support. It is extremely important to have a stable group of donors. This allows me and my colleagues to be able to focus on our work, and not money, while serving in the mission field. Many of you have given regularly and continue to keep me in your prayers. Every gift counts – no matter how infrequent or small. However, I do have a small request. I know that some donors give regularly and that congregations have written support for my missionary account into their congregation or organization budgets. If you or your congregation or organization have not done so already, could you please consider signing up for regular, monthly giving? Another option is to communicate with the LCMS or Mission Central that you have “pledged” an amount for the upcoming year. There is also an option for a congregation to become a Together in Mission (TIM) supporting congregation – whereby a congregation commits to supporting a particular missionary year after year. Oftentimes folks and congregations do not like to feel “locked in” to a financial commitment and just choose to give regularly depending on changes with their financial situation. That is entirely OK. But the benefit of regular giving, pledges, and a TIM partnership is that it allows me and the support team of the LCMS to have a clearer view of where my support is going and to best use our time and effort. For example, if it is clear that I have sufficient repeat gifts and pledges for my work, then the LCMS advancement staff can focus on assisting a different missionary who may need more help in this area. A congregation that chooses to support fewer or even one missionary at a higher level helps to avoid cases where missionaries are spread too thin - with extended home service travel and soliciting smaller amounts from the same congregations. If you have any questions about different ways of giving through the LCMS or Mission Central, please feel free to email or call me.

I have already done visits in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Kansas but I still have a lot of ground to cover. I am sharing with you the visits that I already have scheduled for the next few months. If you see that I will be in your area and am not already scheduled at your parish, please contact me to see if we could plan a weekday coffee hour or Bible study presentation. I can also preach at mid-week services. Some supporters help keep travel costs down by hosting me in their homes while traveling. This saves money that would otherwise be spent on hotels. If you are interested in hosting me while I am on the road, please contact me.

Oct. 7th – Pierce, NE – St. John Luth. Church
Oct. 14th - Wausau, WI – Christ Luth. Church
Oct. 17th – Wausau, WI – Wisconsin Valley Luth. High School;
Wittenberg, WI – St. Paul's Lutheran
Oct. 18th – Birnamwood, WI – St. Paul's Lutheran
Oct. 21st – Tigerton, WI – St. John Luth. Church
Oct. 24th – Shawano, WI – St. Jakobi (St. James of Jerusalem – transferred)
Oct. 27th & 28th – Townsend, WI – St. John Luth. Church
Oct. 29th– Gleason, WI – Our Savior's Lutheran Church
Oct. 30th – Three Lakes, WI – Grace Lutheran
Nov. 1st - 2nd - Wisconsin Dells - Teachers Conference
Nov. 4th – Laona & Crandon WI – St. John's and Good Shepherd
Nov. 11th – Rhinelander, WI – St. Mark Luth. Church
Nov. 18th – Arbor Vitae, WI – Peace Lutheran Church
Nov. 21st – Marshfield, WI – Immanuel Lutheran Church
Nov. 25th – Sullivan, WI – St. John's Luth. Church
Dec. 1st & 2nd - Freistadt, WI – Trinity Luth. Church
Dec. 8th & 9th - Watertown, WI – Good Shepherd Luth. Church
Dec. 16th – North Prairie, WI – St. John's Lutheran
Dec. 23rd - Milwaukee, WI - Luther Memorial Chapel and Student Center
Dec. 29th - 30th– Racine, WI – Pentecost Lutheran Church
week of Jan 6th – Florida SELC congregations – incl. Viera and Melbourne
week of Jan 13th - New Jersey/ Pennsylvania SELC congregations - including ...
Concordia in Macungie, PA; Our Savior's in Topsfield, MA
week of Jan 20th – Ohio SELC congregations – incl. St. John, Massillon, OH

In Christ,

Rev. Jacob W. Gaugert
Centre Luthérien D'Études Theologiques
B.P. 53

Togocell # (+228) 93 43 95 26
T-Mobile Intl. # (262) 271-3813

About our Missionary ...

Reverend Jacob W. Gaugert was ordained in April, 2010. at Dr. Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wis., in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in theological and classical languages. He attended Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana for two years and spent an acedemic year as Vicar for St. Mary's Lutheran Church in Berlin, Germany. He received his M. Div. degree from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., in 2010. He served as Vacancy Pastor at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Whiting, Indiana from 2011-2013.

In 2013, Reverend Gaugert answered a call as a career missionary to teach at a Lutheran Seminary in Dapaong, Togo (West Africa).